Gastrodiplomacy and the Rise of Thai Cuisine in America | Thai Food in America | Episode 1

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How did Thai cuisine become so popular in the United States and across the world? Join us for this live virtual program to learn how Thailand has used “soft power” to raise awareness of its food and culture and transform the country into a prime culinary tourism destination and a leading exporter of food related products. We will meet the owners and chefs of two of the oldest and top-rated Thai restaurants in the United States. Chef Nongkran Daks from Chantilly, Virginia’s Thai Basil and Chef Chai Siriyan from San Francisco’s Marnee Thai will share their stories, discuss how awareness of Thai cuisine in America has changed in the last 20 years, and prepare a special and personal dish with us, including the iconic Pad Thai and the regional specialty Kang Kai Kole (southern yellow chicken curry).

This series is sponsored by Thai Select USA.

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The 9/11 Boatlift: Panel Discussion with Maritime Heroes | Episode 134

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Join us for this special program, presented in partnership with the Transportation Institute and the New York Council Navy League, to hear firsthand stories from the Coast Guard and maritime industry personnel who took part in the 9/11 Boatlift. As tragedy unfolded on September 11, 2001, ordinary Americans did what Americans do at their best — they answered the call to help their fellow citizens. With Lower Manhattan streets blocked and the subways closed, crowds built up along accessible points of the shoreline. Captains and crew of the ferries already in the area, assisted by NYPD, started loading passengers to bring them to safety. With that, the largest maritime evacuation in history began.

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Planting for Pollinators and Native Plant Gardening | Episode 133

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Learn how Prospect Park restores and manages habitat for pollinator conservation, why invertebrates are so important to Brooklyn, how managers choose plants, why native plants are critical to pollinator survival, and how anyone with a little bit of space can plant a pollinator-friendly native garden. We will again be joined by Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein.

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Lighting the Way: Staten Island’s National Lighthouse Museum | Episode 129

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From the Civil War through the 1960’s, a site next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal served as the central depot supplying America’s lighthouses and Aids to Navigation. Join us for a virtual visit with historian Wade Goria to the National Lighthouse Museum, which tells the story of this essential service and the people, equipment, and structures that have kept America’s shipping channels safe.

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The Trees of Prospect Park with Howard Goldstein | Episode 126

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Get to know the trees of Prospect Park! Prospect Park Alliance forest ecologist Howard Goldstein joins us again for a discussion about the 30,000 trees of the park. We will look at common native and invasive tree species (and how to recognize them), the different forest types in the park, why some of our native trees are so valuable to wildlife, some unusual and less common trees, and how the Prospect Park Alliance manages Brooklyn’s last forest.

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What’s Cooking? Haitian Cuisine with Grandchamps | Episode 125

Join us for a live virtual program with Grandchamps at the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s Building 77 Food Manufacturing Hub to learn about Haitian cuisine and the story behind this family-owned business. Guest Judh Grandchamps Jr. will share a behind-the-scenes look at the spices and flavors that influence their Haitian dishes. We’ll also hear the story behind how Grandchamps started as a restaurant, market, and community gathering space in Bed-Stuy, its expansion to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and how they’ve been weathering the pandemic.

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Voices of World War II: Brooklyn Navy Yard Oral Histories | Episode 124

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To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, we are listening to the voices of men and women who lived through the war in Brooklyn. We will share a selection of the 100+ oral histories that make up the collection in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Archives to bring the city at war to life. Learn what it was like to be one of the first female shipworkers in 1942, or to face discrimination as a Black sailor in the segregated Navy, or to witness battered ships and sailors limp into the Yard from the war zone. Our team will also share our experiences recording oral histories with these remarkable people over the past 12 years.

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Race to Hunts Point: Gamifying New York’s Food System | Episode 121

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Hunts Point in the Bronx is the world’s largest food distribution center, yet few New Yorkers have ever visited. In order to demystify this place and the city’s food system, designers Lilian Yi-Hsuan Lin, Ángel Lamar Oliveras, and Beverly Chou created Race to Hunts Point, a strategy board game designed for high school students in which players must use resources to successfully operate cultivation, shipping, and trading processes in the food supply chain. In this virtual program, Lilian will walk us through the design, fabrication, and gameplay of Race to Hunts Point, which was created through the FWRD Fellowship for designers and engineers with NYCEDC’s Futureworks.

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U-Boats, Bootleggers, and Buoys: The History of the Coast Guard in New York Harbor | Episode 119

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To mark the 230th birthday of the United States Coast Guard, we’re looking back at the history of the “always ready” service. Due to New York’s position as one of the country’s largest ports, the Coast Guard has ensured its safety and security for more than two centuries, and today they have the largest presence of any military service branch in New York City. We will share stories of the Coast Guard fighting U-boats in both World Wars, hunting bootleggers during Prohibition, and ensuring the safe navigation of the harbor for everybody from container ships to kayakers. We will also be joined by Coast Guard veteran Ramon Ortiz, who served aboard the icebreaking tug USCGC Sturgeon Bay and in Coast Guard Sector New York.

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Preserving the Fleet of the South Street Seaport Museum | Episode 117

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Since its founding over 52 years ago, South Street Seaport Museum has faced the daunting job of preserving its historic fleet. Join us for a photographic voyage with Director of Historic Ships Jesse Lebovics to see the challenges and remarkable efforts made for the long term preservation of 1885 ship Wavertree, 1930 tugboat W.O. Decker, 1885 schooner Pioneer, and the planned upcoming work on 1907 lightship Ambrose.

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